Spanish Journal of Rural Development

The Spanish Journal of Rural Development (SJRD) is a quarterly scientific journal published by the Galician Association of Researchers for Rural Development Asociación Gallega de Investigadores para el Desarrollo Rural (AGAIDERU).

Span. j. rural dev. is a multidisciplinary journal which publishes original research articles of practical application in the fields of forestry, agronomy, the environment, rural planning, international cooperation and socioeconomic issues. The overall focus is on the sustainable rural development of local populations, within identified Priority Lines

The journal also applies a policy of exchange with various scientific journals, at both national and international levels, and it is indexed in important scientific databases.


  • Introduction

    Editor SJRD

    On behalf of the Editorial Board, is an honour for me to present a new issue of Spanish Journal of Rural Development (SJRD), also on this occasion, it opens a new way for the dissemination of knowledge through our journal.

    We started the publication of a new series of special issues of SJRD, with the claim that in them, have a place, for example, papers presented at congress, meetings, courses, ..., but of course with sufficient scientific rigor as in this case, where they have room for a total of 15 articles selected from more than l00 submissions to the IV Iberian Congress of Soil Science held in September this year in Granada. It is also our idea in the near future publish special issues of the journal dedicated to a particular topic. In any case, the review procedure followed in both cases, it will be the same as that used to publish an article in a regulated number of the journal and it can be found in the “Instructions for the authors”.

    We have already celebrated our first anniversary, something we had occasion to commemorate the month of September in the Plenary Hall of the City Council of Lugo, thanks to the cooperation agreement we signed to promote the program Lugo 10. From here our gratitude and support to the City Council of our city.

    Finally, as I said in the introduction of SJRD number 2, the group of “adventurers” what started a project as uncertain and, in principle complicated, as is the launch of a new scientific journal, thank God, we're moving and, this time with new goals. As Sancho Panza says, humble squire, his lord and knight Don Quijote: “Al bien hacer jamás le falta premio”.


  • Phytolith study of a histosol in the NW of the Iberian Peninsula.

    Fernández, M.G., Patterer, N.I., Souto, M., Pontevedra-Pombal, X., Fraga, M.I., Arriaga, M.O., Zucol, A.F.

    Phytoliths are microscopic structures of biogenic silica from organic tissues, product of cellular metabolism, when the plant dies, are preserved in the soil and can be used as local signals for palaeoenvironmental reconstruction. The histosols are particularly suitable for conservation of phytoliths, and thus have been used in studies of environmental change throughout the Northern Hemisphere, and only exceptionally in the Iberian Peninsula. Here, we present the analysis of phytolith associations found in selected samples of a Hemic Ombric Histosol of Serras Septentrionais of Galicia, developed over a paleosol (10,720 yr cal. BP). Phytolith record was compared with geochemical, pollen and botanical previous information. We extracted and identified phytoliths in samples from three depths: 10 cm (159 yr cal. BP) 120 cm (2430 yr cal. BP) and 230 cm (5403 yr cal. BP). We have seen an exclusive presence of graminoid morphotypes, mainly related to panicoid bilobated short cells and truncated cone with danthoniod affinity, in the analyzed samples. Based on our findings, we associate the presence of megathermal vegetation in the deeper peat with warmer and drier climatic conditions than today, where microthermal vegetation dominates.

  • Modification of the susceptibility to compactation by the addition of compost

    Paradelo, R., Devesa, R., Barral, M.T.

    The addition of three rates of municipal solid waste compost reduced the susceptibility to compaction of three materials of mineral origin and contrasting texture. These were quartz sand (85% sand), slate processing fines (78% silt), and bentonite (75% clay). The maximum density of compaction of these materials increased in the sequence bentonite < slate processing fines < quartz sand, while the moisture corresponding to the maximum density (critical water content) followed the inverse order. The addition of increasing rates of compost resulted in general in flatter compaction curves with maximum less defined, thus indicating a decrease in the influence of moisture on compaction. The highest rate of compost reduced the maximum density of the quartz sand from 1.88 to 1.33 Mg m-3, from 1.54 to 1.22 Mg m-3 for the slate processing fines, and from 1.16 to 1.00 Mg m-3 for the bentonite. The increment for the critical water content was exponential with the compost rate, its effect being the greatest for the sand, whose value was increased from 10.4% to 29.1%; for the slate processing fines it was increased from 25.2% to 36.2%; and for bentonite it increased from 38.8% to 52.4%.

  • Incidence of the growing of aromatic and medicinal plants on the erosion of agricultural soils.

    Bienes, R., Jiménez-Ballesta, R., Ruiz-Colmenero, M., Arévalo, D., Álvarez, A., Marqués, M.J.

    Different tests have been carried out to determine erosion and runoff rates in a hillslope (8.9%) using USLE plots (4 x 20m.) where Lavandula latifolia, Salvia lavandulifolia and Rosmarinus officinalis were planted. A traditional tillaged-bare plot was used as control. The plantations were made following contour lines. The field works were the traditionally made in this type of cultivation. After each rainfall, the weight of sediment yield, the height of accumulated runoff water and an aliquot of runoff water were collected; suspended sediments were also calculated. At the end of the year, L. latifolia was the shrub that generated less sediment, but this difference is not statistically significant. On the other hand, R. officinalis and L. latifolia produced less runoff than both bare control-plot and S. lavandulifolia. However, due to the high variability of the results obtained, only there is a statistical significant difference between L. latifolia and S. lavandulifolia (p< 0.05). We have also carried out a continuous record of soil moisture at 15 and 30cm. The differences in soil moisture contents are highly significant (p <0.001) between all treatments, both 15 and 30 cm depth, concluding that soil moisture is strongly influenced by aromatic plants and land use.

  • Substrate-induced respiration (SIR) in a Eutric Fluvisol under sorghum cultivation: effects of chronic N fertilisation and saline water irrigation

    Prazeres, A., Menino, R., Rama Candelario, V., Gonçalves, C., Fareleira, P.

    The substrate-induced respiration (SIR) method utilizes the initial respiratory response of soil microbes to substrate amendment to provide an estimate of the amount of C held in living. In this work, SIR measurements were used to evaluate the effects of chronic nitrogen and saline water additions on the active soil microbial biomass pool in a 3-year sorghum crop established in a Eutric Fluvisol at Alentejo, Portugal. A triple emitter source irrigation system was installed to deliver different combinations of NaCl and NH4NO3. The main effect happens in the plot irrigated with saline water, where the SIR rates were c.a. 40% lower than in the control plot, denoting the expected detrimental effect of salt on the active fraction of soil microbial biomass. Smaller decreases in SIR rates were also observed in the plots amended with N-fertilizer, particularly in the highest concentration. The combined application of intermediate amounts of NH4NO3 with NaCl resulted in higher SIR rates than with saline water alone, thus mitigating the declining effect of salinity on soil microbial activity. By the end of the irrigation season, all SIR rates were increased, reaching similar levels as in the beginning of the crop cycle.

  • Aterations in the Rhizobium population in soil by the application of the herbicide imazamox

    García–Garijo, A., Palma, F., González-López, J., Lluch, C., Tejera, N.A.

    The plant-microorganism association is considered very promising for phytoremediation of soils. Rhizobium bacteria are able to associate symbiotically with the roots of legumes and provide them with organic nitrógeno, a very interesting feature in the context of agricultural sustainability. Furthermore, this interaction allows the adaptation of many species of legumes to impoverished soils, salinized or polluted, which give them a potencial in phytoremediation of soil and revegetation. The aim of this work is to study the response of two strains of Rhizobium (R. tropici CIAT899 and R. eitli CFN42) during incubation with different concentrations of the herbicide imazamox, inhibitor of the acetolactate synthase activity. The inocula are maintained in soil microcosm systems and the feasibility and activity of bacteria are assayed by counting colony-forming units and measuring the biological oxygen demand.

  • Physic-chemical and biochemical characterization of soils of the Teide National Park.

    Rodríguez, N., Díaz, M., Arbelo, C.D., Mora, J.L., Armas, C.M., Guerra, J.A., Notario, J., Hernández, A., Rodríguez, A.

    The knowledge of high mountain soil systems has a great interest, since they host singular ecosystems of special conservation. This work aims to study of the variability of physicochemical (texture, bulk density, capacity of water retention, pH, C and N content, exchangeable cations) and biochemical properties (microbial biomass C, soil respiration, global microbial activity and specific activities of C and N cycles) of soils occurring at Teide National Park (Canary Islands, Spain). The study was performed on 40 samples, covering the different soil types (Andosols, Cambisols, Leptosols, Regosols) and the main plant formations in the area (Rosalito scrubland, Broom scrubland, Pine forest, Pasture, and no vegetation). Soils are sandy-loam in texture, showing a relatively high bulk density and low content of carbon and nutrients. Water holding capacity, as well as organic C and total N contents and biochemical properties strongly depend on the vegetation type. On the other hand, soil type is tightly related to the physicochemical properties, so that the Andosols have better structure and porosity, as well as higher values for carbon and nutrient contents. However, the influence of soil type on the biochemical properties is meaningless.

  • Effect of olive mill waste addition on the runoff and leaching of the herbicide terbuthylazine in a olive soil

    Gámiz, B., Celis, R., Cox, L., Hermosín, M.C., Cornejo, J.

    Organic amendment addition to agricultural soils is an agronomic practice that can greatly affect the behavior of pesticides. In this work, a field study was conducted in to determine the effect of olive-mill waste (OMW) addition to soil on runoff and leaching of the herbicide terbuthylazine. Two 4 x 1 m olive field plots were used in the experiment. One of the plots was the control (unamended soil), whereas the other plot was amended with OMW at 40 kg/m2. A commercial formulation of terbuthylazine was then applied to both plots at a rate of 3 kg ha-1. At selected times, triplicate soil samples were taken from different soil depths (0-5, 5-10, 10-20 and 20-30 cm) and their content in terbuthylazine was determined, to address the effect of OMW on herbicide leaching. In addition, runoff water from both plots was also collected and analyzed. Terbuthylazine leaching and runoff was reduced by the addition of OMW, which indicates that OMW could be useful to reduce the risk of ground and surface water contamination associated with the use of this herbicide in agricultural soils.

  • Seasonal variation of the basal respiration and the dehydrogenase activity in soils of transect of “Sierra de las Morerras” (Mazarrón, Murcia)

    Gil, J.M., Sánchez, A., Marín, P., Delgado, M.J., Ortiz, R.

    Spanish southeastern semiarid areas, and particularly region of Murcia, have degraded soils. These ones are in desertification process, this is due to adverse weather conditions in these areas and also, due to the too aggressive human action carried out on agricultural soils. Basal Respiration and dehydrogenase activity are often selected for evaluation of soil quality in the short term. This is due to this two parameters are really very sensitive to any changes that could be appreciated in soils. Basal respiration and dehydrogenase activity showed seasonal variation, showing the highest values in summer. The increase in basal respiration may be due to stress caused by the loss of soil moisture, while the dehydrogenase activity in the summer may be due to uncoupling of electron transport chain and oxidative phosphorylation in summer. Also a decrease of these parameters in spring is perceived till an increase autumn is detected, with significant differences (p = 0.05) between these two season. High temperatures and low humidity can be very stressful for soil microbial populations. Microbial organisms must maintain their oxidative machinery in these conditions at a high level to be able to obtain energy, in this way, dehydrogenase activity and basal respiration are increased.

  • Emergent properties derived from molecular structure of the organic material that explain the variability of hydrophisic properties in mediterranean soils

    Álvarez A., Carral P., Hernández Z., Almendros G.

    A series of soil physical properties in addition to chemical characteristics of soil organic matter were studied in semiarid Mediterranean agroecosystems. Soil infiltration curves, water holding capacity and parameters b and c of the empirical Kostiakov’s equation were estimated from field data using a doublering infiltrometer. Aggregate stability, bulk density, porosity, textural composition and chemical properties (pH, EC, content of organic and inorganic C, C/N, CEC and exchangeable bases) were also determined. The humic acids (HA) were isolated and analyzed by visible spectroscopy and pyrolysis-gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. Multivariate data treatments showed that hydrophysical parameters appeared to be associated with those HAs’ characteristics pointing to a weakly-condensed macromolecular structure with a substantial aliphatic domain. Assuming some cause-to-effect relationship, this is tentatively interpreted such as the moderate hydrophobicity of the soil matrix and the flexible macromolecular structure of the HAs would be associated to the improvement of hydrophysical properties. This contrasts with classical literature which suggested that the substantial aromaticity in resilient organic matter should be considered as an index for soil quality in terms of its positive environmental role.

  • Evaluation through Magnetic Resonance of the porosity of the soil after the application of digested sludge

    Carrero-González, B., Casemeiro, M.A., González, S., Jorge, I., De la Cruz, Mª.T.

    The aim of this work is to analyze the effect of different types of sewage sludge on soil physical properties and compare the analytical results with those obtained by magnetic resonance image techniques (MRI). Aerobic and anaerobic digested sludge are applied to agricultural land at 160 Tmha-1 doses. The total porosity (%), bulk density (g/cm3) and water holding capacity (%) is analyzed in soil samples with and without sewage sludge addition. From proton density MR images, porosity has been determined by signal intensity related to internal references to the sample.

  • Study of the concentration of some essential micronutrients in natural stands of Quercus petraea Matts Liebl. and Q. pyrenaica Willd. in the northwest peninsular

    Díaz-Maroto, I.J., Vila-Lameiro, P.

    Fifty-two natural stands of sessile oak (Quercus petraea Matts Liebl.) and forty of “rebollo” (Quercus pyrenaica Willd.) has been sampled in the northwestern peninsular, with the aim of studying the levels of micronutrients, determined by analysis of soil parameters. The substrate in the stands of Quercus petraea is siliceous, in all cases, mainly slates, and soils (especially Umbric Regosols) are of silty texture, while under Q. pyrenaica, dominated by schist and quartzite with loam sandy texture and is also almost all type Umbric Regosol. In the forests of sessile oak, the copper concentration was very low compared with soils under hardwood species, and soils under rebollo there is a high concentration of the micronutrient iron. The application of statistical analysis, namely Principal Component Analysis (PCA), has helped define a set of new variables or vectors, resulting from the combination of the 26 initial parameters, which has revealed the existence of differences significantly between soils where both species are located, particularly in its different concentrations of micronutrients.

  • Effect of the aplication of sewage sludge compost and rice residue on pH, nitrógeno, organic matter, and humic sustances of a Luvisol calcium dedicated to citrus crop growing

    Roca-Pérez, L., Gil, C., Ramos-Miras, J., Soriano, A., Boluda, R.

    Many studies have evidenced that applying organic soil amendments improves soil functions and quality. Nonetheless, its management needs optimising to avoid harmful effects on the soil-plant system. This work assesses the effect of applying compost obtained with sewage sludge and rice residue on several soil parameters. This study was carried out on a calcic Luvisol soil, located in Valencia (Spain), used for citrus crop growing. Eight experimental plots were selected, and the following doses of compost were applied in duplicate: 0, 6, 12 and 36 Mg ha-1. The Ap1 (0-10 cm) and Ap2 (10-20 cm) horizons were sampled, and a 7-month follow-up was performed. The following parameters were determined in soil samples: pH, MOS, mineral nitrogen, ammoniacal nitrogen, total nitrogen, and humic and fulvic acids. The results reveal that compost use lowered pH, but increased MOS content, total nitrogen and humic substances as the soil amendment dose was raised. The most effective dose was 36 Mg ha-1. These results indicate the feasibility of using this compost type as an organic soil amendment for fine-textured calcareous soils.

  • Degradation of the soil and Microarthropod comunities; aproximation to evaluate the quality of the soil

    Soriano, A., Díaz, V., Pons, V., Roca-Pérez, L., Boluda, R.

    Many human activities are the main causes of soil degradation, which consequently lead to loss of organic matter and biological activity owing to poor soil resource management. This work studies the effect of soil degradation on chemical and biological soil properties (organic matter, composition of humic substances, respiration rate and microarthropod populations). Several soils were selected: on different geological materials, with potential vegetation, under deforestation conditions and from dry croplands. The results show considerable variations in organic matter content, and high humic fraction contents were obtained in forest soils with canopy cover irrespectively of the original material. Deforestation effects and agricultural use had a negative effect and lowered the organic indices. Significant correlations were found between the polymerisation index and the number of microarthropods. The number and type of microarthropod populations varied depending on soil use, which were higher in mollic Leptosols. Degradation of potential vegetation negatively affected soil in terms of its quality and diversity loss. Thus the parameters used are good indicators of soil degradation.

  • Biological Soil Crusts: “Soil engineering” in arid and semiarid ecosistems

    Chamizo, S., Cantón, Y., Miralles-Mellado, I., Rodríguez, E., Domingo, F.

    In arid and semiarid regions, the open spaces between plants are usually occupied by a community of algae, cyanobacteria, lichens, mosses and other microorganisms, known as Biological Soil Crusts (BSC). They control the resources availability in ecosystems through the regulation of the water balance, the reduction of soil erosion and the increase in soil fertility. The aim of this work is to analyse the influence of physical and biological soil crusts, in different stage of development, on the properties of the underlaying soil and on infiltration, soil moisture and soil erosion. For that, the physico-chemical characteristics of the crust and the material underneath have been analysed in two semiarid ecosystems in Spain SE. The hydrological and erosive response of these crusts has been studied by rainfall simulations and soil moisture sensors have been used to study their influence on soil moisture. As crust development increases, carbon and nitrogen content and water availability increase in the crust and the soil underneath, infiltration increases and erosion decreases. Soil moisture monitoring during a year and a half shows that for very negative matric potentials, BSC favour higher soil water content and longer than physical crusts or the soil under vascular plants.

  • Evaluation and control of the risk of soil erosion in Spain: National Inventory of Soil Erosion 2002

    Martín Fernández, L., Martinez Núñez, M.

    Soil erosion is one of the most important factors of soils, natural systems and ecosystems degradation in Spain with important social, economic and environmental implications,. Soil erosion influences desertification processes at all scales. Since 1978, the Ministry of Environment became aware of this problem and in 2001 lauched the "National Inventory of Soil Erosion -INES (2002-2012)" to study the process of soil erosion in Spain. The National Inventory of Soil Erosion is part of the Spanish Biodiversity and Natural Heritage Inventory, which in turn forms a part of the Forest Statistical Profile established by the Spanish Forestry Plan, Forest Law 43/2003 (amended by Law 10/2006), and the Natural Heritage and Biodiversity Law 42/2007. The development of the National Inventory of Soil Erosion is currently entrusted to the Directorate General of the Natural Environment and Forest Policy in the Spanish Ministry of the Environment and Rural and Marine Affairs (MARM, formerly the Ministry of the Environment). The aim of this article is to describe the main components of the National Inventory (rill and interrill erosion, gully and ravine erosion, mass movements, stream-bank erosion and wind erosion). The methodology and main features of this National Inventory are explained in detail. Results obtained by 2010 are presented together with the status of provinces assessed and a schedule of completion by 2012. Finally, the resulting INES maps and tables are illustrated.